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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

THK TEMPM OF BlDHJL BALLABH.                                    255
The ground pian is much the same as in the temple of Harideva at Gobardhan
and the work is of the same character, but carried out on a larger scale. Th©
nave has an eastern facade, 34 feet broad? which is in three stages^ the upp&r
and lower Hindu, and the one "between them purely Hnhammadan in character.
The interior is a ine vaulted hall (63 ft. X 20 ft.) with a double tier of open*
ings north and south; those ia tie lower story having brackets and architraves
and those above being Muhammadan arches, as in the middle story of the front.
These latter open into a narrow gallery with small clerestory windows looking
on to the street. Below, the three centre bays of the colonnade are open door-
ways, and the two at either end are occupied by the staircase that leads to the
upper gallery. Some of the carved panels of the stone ceiling have fallen j but
the outer roof, a steep gable, also of stone, is as yet perfect. Some trees tow-
ever have takenroot between the slabs and unless carefally removed must event-
ually destroy it. The actual shrine, or cella, as also at the tempi© of Gobind
Deva. was demolished by Aurangzeb and only the plinth, remains-, upon which &
room has been built, which is used as a kitchen. As no mosque was ever erected
at Brinda-ban, it is not a little strange that Mr. Fergasson in his History of
Indian Architecture, when speaking of this very locality, should venture to say:
" It does not appear proven that the Moslems did wantonly throw down the
temples of the Hindus, except when they wanted the materials for the erection
of Jiosqu.es or other buildings." A thorough repair of roof, eaves and east front '
^ -uld cost Bs. 4,500, and as a typical example of architecture, the building is
•worth the outlay. A modern temple has been erected on the south side, and
the nave of the old fabric has long- been entirely disused. In fact tMs is the
last temple in the neighbourhood in which a nave was built at all. In the
modern style it is so completely obsolete that its distinctive name even is
forgotten.
These five temples form a most interesting architectural series, and if
Mr. ¥ergusson had ever been able to visit Brinda-ban or to procure photographs
of thefflj it is possible that he would not have found the origin of the Kindu
sikhara such an inscrutable mystery as he declares it to be. He conjectures that
ihe external form may have been simply a constructors! necessity resulting
from the employment internally of a very tali pointed horizontal arch, Ike that
of the Treasury at Mycenss* Bat so far as my experience extends^ no such
arch was ever used in a Hindu temple. Ga the contrary, the ceHat over which
the sikhara is built, is separated from the more public part of the building by
a solid wall pierced only by a doorway small enough to be easily closed; while
the chamber itself is of no great height and is covered in with a vaulted eeiiingy
as to the shape of which nothing could be learni from a view o£ AJje sikhara